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490RE: [scrumdevelopment] RE: [XP] Re: Agile Rentschian Thinking

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  • Laurent Bossavit
    Jul 25, 2002
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      > As such, any meaningful method has to "embrace change" but perhaps
      > where we differ is that I would add "and do so in a controlled manner."

      Controlled by whom ? Aye, there's the rub.

      > if you are building a high rise, it would be infinitely stupid to start
      > with a pile of lumber and some hand tools and expect to be successful.

      Agreed. Here and now, given our skill and knowledge, it would be
      stupid. Do remember, though, that fairly simple biological organisms
      routinely build, with their bare appendages, constructions which are
      to them as a highrise is to us. Termites. Wasps.

      Conclusion : it is not stupid to expect that we might *develop* the
      knowledge and skill to build a highrise starting with a pile of
      lumber and some hand tools.

      Now. Metaphor is nice, but we are not, in fact, building highrises.
      We are building software, a different kind of thing. What transposes
      there from the metaphor, and what doesn't ?

      > To be clear as well, I have problems with the pseudoscientific sound
      > bites in your statement: "embracing change" strikes me too much like
      > the pop business edits of the 80's and 90's. I mean, what's the
      > alternative? "I'm a Luddite."

      I don't see where you get that. Could be a language problem - as a
      freakin' furriner I always double-check this kind of thing.

      Dictionary.com says : "embrace, to take up willingly or eagerly", or
      more interestingly, "to avail oneself of". Thus the alternatives are:
      "to accept change reluctantly", or even "not to avail oneself of the
      possibilities offered by change". Which is where you're leading with
      your "embrace change in a controlled manner".

      Dictionary.com says Luddite is "One who opposes technical or
      technological change". I think one could legitimately oppose some
      kinds of technical change - human cloning is routinely opposed by
      some people who, perhaps, might object to being labeled Luddites.

      I definitely don't think "embrace change" is vacuous. On the
      contrary, reading some Roberto Unger, who in the domain of social
      science says the same thing under the slogan "Plasticity into Power",
      I found more content in the position than I would have expected from
      a principle of software development.


      The greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the
      clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be different.
      Roberto Mangabeira Unger
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